Alert
Close

Chat retirement strategies with AARP’s Jean Setzfand today, Oct. 24th, at 2:00 p.m. ET

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Winter Escapes Sweepstakes

Beat the cold and cozy up to a chance of winning $10,000! See official rules.

Happiness
poll

most popular
articles

Viewed

Distance Education

How to Learn Just About Anything Online — for Free

From academic courses to music lessons, you won’t have to spend a nickel on class fees.

Standalone university sites

webcast.berkeley. The University of California-Berkeley records in lecture halls and classrooms equipped with video- and/or podcast-capture systems. In addition to hundreds of courses, the site offers on-campus lectures, debates, symposiums and other events.

Harvard@home. The site features more than 60 multimedia-rich programs on topics ranging from stem cells to Beethoven.

OpenCourseWare. Here you’ll find 1,800-some academic courses—complete with syllabuses, assignments, exams, and, in many cases, audio or video lectures—that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has put online.

How-to ...

Learning center. Acquire lots of different skills—from organizing your daily life to mastering Google Desktop—from Hewlett Packard’s online classes. Each class includes up to 10 lessons and may also include interactive demos, assignments and quizzes.

WonderHowTo. Curators scour more than 1,700 websites and hand-pick instructional videos—from how to live longer (with University of Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Grey) to teaching your dog to roll over and play dead.

Howcast. Its videos run the gamut from “How to Look Great in Photographs” to “How to Jump-Start Your Car.” Make your own how-to shorts in Howcast’s Emerging Filmmakers Program.

Videojug. This British entry features thousands of “how to” and “ask the expert” videos on a seemingly endless array of topics.

Deep thinkers

TEDTalks. Since 1984, the annual conference that goes by the acronym TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has brought together some of the world’s top thinkers and doers and challenged them to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. This site aggregates the best of those, including Australian science writer Margaret Wertheim’s presentation about the beautiful mathematical links among coral, crochet and hyperbolic geometry.

Nobel Prize winners. The online home of the Nobel Prizes is packed with interviews with and lectures by some of the world’s smartest people. There’s an interview, for example, with Italian neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, the first Nobel laureate to reach the age of 100. (She and a colleague won the 1986 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their discovery of nerve growth factor.) In it, Levi-Montalcini talks about why this latest period of her life has been the best.

Forum National Network. A consortium of public television and radio stations offers live and on-demand lectures by some of the world’s foremost scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policymakers and community leaders. Recent lecture webcasts included Harvard sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot discussing her new book, The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. The best starting point for accessing all the multimedia content is through the website of one of its members, the Boston-based WGBH Forum Network.

Big Ideas. This site, courtesy of TVO, Canada’s largest educational broadcaster, presents lectures on a variety of thought-provoking topics that range across politics, culture, economics, art, history, science, and other fields. There’s even a “Best Lecturer Competition.”

Arts and sciences

Health. Three trustworthy stops: WebMD’s Videos A-Z library, which has thousands of videos, catalogued by topic; HealthCentral.com’s Video Library; and the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Audio/Video Library, which includes interviews with UMMC experts, patient success stories and surgical webcasts.

Languages. The BBC offers audio and video language courses for beginners and intermediates in more than two dozen languages–French, German, Japanese...even Urdu.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cereal

Members can download and print coupons for cereals from Kellogg's®.

Grocery Coupon Center

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.

membership schwanns discount

Members get double Schwan’s rewards on all online orders from Schwan's Home Service™.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.